NEW DELHI (AP) — Popular Bollywood singer and composer Bappi Lahiri, who won millions of fans with his penchant for feet-tapping disco music in the 1980s and 1990s, has died in a Mumbai hospital, according to a hospital statement. He was 69.
Lahiri was suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and a recurrent chest infection, the statement by Criticare hospital said. Lahiri died on Tuesday night.
He composed music for dozens of movies featuring top stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgun and Mithun Chakraborty. His big Bollywood hits included “Chalte Chalte,” “Disco Dancer” and “Sharaabi.” He also had a run of major box office successes in Bengali films.
He was also known for his love of gold chains, which he often wore around his neck for luck.
Condolences poured in from the prime minister and leading Bollywood stars.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Lahiri’s music "was all-encompassing, beautifully expressing diverse emotions. People across generations could relate to his works."
Actor Ajay Devgun said Lahiri was endearing in person, "but his music had an edge. He introduced a more contemporary style to Hindi film music.”
Lahiri had spent a month in the hospital before returning home on Monday. He was again rushed to the hospital on Tuesday as his condition deteriorated, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
He suffered from a COVID-19 infection last year, the hospital statement said.
Lahiri also had a brief stint in politics. He joined the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014 but lost a parliamentary seat he contested for the party in Srerampur in West Bengal state in national elections.
Lahiri is survived by his wife Chitrani Lahiri and a son and a daughter.